Growing up, my Mom was certainly the owner of the kitchen, cooking up some of the most amazing food for her six boys, but my Dad was never far off. While he certainly owned the grill, I never saw him afraid to jump in and participate in creating a meal alongside my Mom. Whenever Dad decided to cook we knew we'd be getting something good, whether it be shrimp or steak, my Dad could make just about anything taste good off the grill. Never afraid to experiment, he could also create an amazing dish out of his head like last years Chili he created for the Yale Chili Competition.
Being the third of six boys, you'd think there would have been a good chance of me feeling neglected growing up. Yet, I can't recall one time ever feeling like I was left out or that my Dad was unavailable to me. He always seemed to be there, whether it was getting us up early in the morning or picking us up after late night play practice. For the most part he was even the "cool" dad that you wouldn't mind showing up to pick you up or talk with your friends.
Even more important were the life lessons I have learned from my Dad. He taught his sons by example to honor and respect their mother and other women. His love and concern for those around him is always apparent in the messages of support and the way he serves those in his life. People flock to him for guidance and friendship (evidenced by his nearly 2,000 Facebook friends). I hope that I can continue to learn from his example and be the kind of father that he was to me, to my own beautiful children.
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/4 cup coke
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons apple cider
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 2- to 2 1/4-pound racks baby back pork ribs
1 large onion, sliced
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
6 thin rounds peeled fresh ginger
1 1/4 cups apple cider
Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.
Mix first 6 ingredients in small bowl. Using small sharp knife, loosen membrane from underside of each rib rack and pull off (or score membrane). Rub 1 tablespoon seasoning mix into each side of each rib rack. Place ribs in large roasting pan. Cover and chill at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lift ribs from pan. Scatter onion, cinnamon stick, and ginger in pan. Pour in cider. Return ribs, meat side down, to pan; cover pan with foil. Roast ribs until meat is tender and begins to pull away from bones, about 2 hours. Uncover; cool at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill ribs until heated through and slightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Brush generously on all sides with basting sauce. Grill until sauce becomes sticky glaze, about 3 minutes longer per side. Transfer rib racks to cutting board. Cut racks between bones into individual ribs. Arrange on platter and serve, passing remaining sauce separately.